abstract illustration of concentric circles punctuated by lines emanating from a clock in the middle of the drawing

The Time Machine

by H. G. Wells

Start Free Trial

In The Time Machine, what things are common about the creatures that live in the dark?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Morlocks are the creatures who live underground and are thought to have come from humans, even though they are a completely different species from humans. The Time Traveller  thinks the Morlocks must have been the working class who had been driven underground to operate the machines, and the Eloi were the capitalists. Their relationship with the Eloi is unusual, to say the least, since they "harvest" Eloi in the dark to eat, and the Eloi depend upon the Morlocks to provide everything they need.

The Time Traveller goes down into the underground and discovers a maze of tunnels.The Morlocks are described as ape-like creatures with white skin, and "their eyes were abnormally large and sensitive, just as are the pupils of the abysmal fishes, and they reflected the light in the same way." He noticed big machines that "rose out of the dimness, and cast grotesque black shadows,..." The air is "stuffy and oppressive", and the Time Traveller, smelling fresh blood, concludes that they are carnivorous (meat-eaters). When the Time Traveller tries to escape, the Morlocks grab at him to bring him back down. He lights a match, saying no one could even imagine "how nauseatingly inhuman they looked--those pale, chinless faces and great, lidless, pinkish-grey eyes! - as they stared in their blindness and bewilderment." Needless to say, the Time Traveller understands the fear of the Eloi toward the Morlocks.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team